Solar energy, like bitcoin, can be an effective tool in protecting against bad government systems – and they even work together.
The dominant Bitcoin narrative in 2021 has focused a lot on the ‘E’ or ‘environmental’ aspect of ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) and Bitcoin.
One point that hasn’t been mentioned is that running your own home on renewable energy can protect and insulate you from the bad “G” of reckless government monetary and energy policies.
Self-sovereignty is one of the reasons some survivalists (aka preppers) see renewables as part of their standard toolbox. Generating one’s own energy protects against various types of potential disturbances of the social, political or economic order. Preppers build homes off the grid so that they can operate independently of centralized power systems.
In 2016, the same year that I finally bought bitcoin, we also installed our first residential solar installation. The ultimate goal is to install storage batteries so that we can use the solar energy stored at night or at times of low sunlight when solar panels are not producing.
The initial cost of home solar power is relatively large. In calculations of solar payback time through saved electricity costs, one of the factors people (should) consider in their solar recovery calculations is the very likely higher future cost of electricity.
In 2016, solar panel prices were low, the government was giving tax credits for solar power, and in my estimation, electricity prices were likely to increase over time.
According to Lyn Alden’s October 2021 newsletter, we are seeing rising energy prices everywhere. These energy price increases do not appear to be transitory.
Home solar power can insulate you in part from energy cost inflation, albeit in a different way than bitcoin. Paying for our solar installation in advance and producing our own energy protects us from the higher energy prices that result from the government’s monetary and energy policies.
Also in 2016, our state legislature was going to abolish the solar net metering program. The net metering program allows owners of solar installations to offset the energy they produce with the energy they consume from the central electricity grid. (Solar panel owners also pay various grid fees to cover grid infrastructure.)
Instead of compensating for the energy input and output of solar energy owners, the new program would pay solar energy owners a reduced rate for the energy they produce but do not use, and therefore feed back that energy. in the central electricity grid. The power company would then sell this solar energy to other consumers at full price. We would also pay full price for any nighttime, rainy, or snowy energy that we consume.
The power companies lobbied for the bill, but a bipartisan group helped defeat it at that time. Regardless of this victory, we will personally continue to make progress towards greater energy sovereignty so that we are not subject to the changing policies of the government and the utility company on renewable energy.
More importantly, the benefits of solar power aren’t just for homeowners and preparers in the United States.
Off-grid solar power is being implemented across Africa as a decentralized form of energy for the poorest and rural areas that are not served by a central grid or even a micro-grid.
Off-grid solar power can be an electricity supplier for those who lack electricity, as well as a buffer against energy price inflation in the future. In many cases, off-grid solar energy users may have an independent source of electricity.
These off-grid solar power sources enable decentralized power and release many of the problems that come with a centralized grid, or lack thereof.
Bitcoin mining is also emerging as a source of income in some African countries, and some are harnessing solar power. Africa’s interest in mining is only growing, according to a Compass Mining report released in August 2021.
Coming back to ‘E’, for me owning solar home power allows me to run my Bitcoin node primarily on solar power or power from the grid at night after providing solar power. to other consumers during the day. When we install solar battery storage, the solar that I store from excess power production during the day will (hopefully) allow me to fully operate my solar powered Bitcoin node.
Regarding ESG, my Bitcoin node on solar power has good “E” and “G” and isolates me from bad “G”.
The Bitcoin node enables decentralized money using partially decentralized energy.
For the people of Africa and other countries turning to off-grid solar and mining power, the same can also be true.
Bitcoin’s independence and some form of energy independence are rewarding.
It’s another energy story for Bitcoin and ESG.
This is a guest article by Heidi Porter. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.